What is Islamic Discourse Initiative(IDI)?
Right now, the best way to describe IDI would be, it is a work in progress. It is nowhere close to what I envision it to be, but it is getting there. Slower than I would like, but it is getting there.
IDI will be an Institute for Independent Researchers who can present their analysis on issues relevant to our Communities across the globe. We will, if Allah wills it, cover Politics, Theology, History, Economics, Sociology, Science and more.
As for how and why IDI came to be, the answer requires me to go a bit into my personal backstory.
I grew up in a Muslim Majority Nation. However, the environment that I grew up in was a complex one. A mix of secular Jahliyya with Islamic practices is how I can best sum it up.
I had ample opportunities for learning. However, I could never really find my passion for it and I could never come to terms with the way things were done in our institutions.
Everything was mechanic. There were no organic means of learning and growing.
It was rather Darwinian. People around me were learning, sure. But the purpose of learning was rather shallow.
I was told that if I didn’t seek proper education I would die in poverty. It was if we were all being machines trained to play roles in a certain system in exchange for survival and fulfillment of our personal desires.
My education was very disjointed. My Islamic Studies was basically me learning how to read the Quran from a Hafiz and a supplementary Islamic Studies subject in my day school. I knew how to read the Quran but I couldn’t understand anything. I prayed five times a day but I didn’t understand why I prayed.
I learned how to speak in English, I learned how to do Mathematics. I learned History, Science and Geography. But the only reason I did was to somehow pass and avoid the miserable prospect of poverty. My desire wasn’t sincere.
Truthfully my desire for learning(for the right reasons) was non-existent. I didn’t understand what my purpose in life was.
By the time I was 15, I had stopped praying almost entirely, other than a few odd Jummahs here and there and the Ramadan Muslim phase. My knowledge was quite basic and I was detached from reality. Instead I invested myself in the virtual world and I had in essence become addicted to video games.
But as I neared my 20s, my life changed dramatically. Call it divine providence, I had become a practicing Muslim and gradually I had developed a desire to seek knowledge and learn. I wanted to better understand the reality around me and I had an incentive to address the problems I came across.
Whether it’s the lack of justice, lack of understanding between people with different perspectives, or the general deficiency in knowledge, I began my efforts to address these issues to the best of my abilities.
And with finally having full access to the internet(that’s another story), I began my journey to be something more than what I was. And I have not looked back since. I made my fair share of mistakes along the way. But I have learned and grown.
Internet and Social media have their pros and cons. And I have attempted to make the best use of it to learn from individuals everywhere.
IDI is my way of sharing what I have learned with the world. I also have a dream to establish a proper institute where people learn and grow in an organic manner. IDI is the first step towards making that dream a reality.
And I have been fortunate enough to find fellow seekers of knowledge who wish to do the same. And I am immensely grateful to them for their contributions. Our goal is to present knowledge that people can appreciate and find value in.
I hope that our readers will benefit from our project and support us in our journey.
And if any scholar or student of knowledge wishes to join our Initiative, I will be very honored.
Also please check out our latest publication regarding the Authentic Signs of the Hour.